Wednesday, November 2, 2005

When the world was young, the clouds of mosquitoes drifting over from the drainage ditches and rice fields made it very difficult to enjoy the comparatively mild evenings outdoors in the Spring and Fall. Our neighbors built a recreational screened in patio behind their home and used it to great effect. My mother always wanted one and my father started a somewhat more elaborate one with multiple sliding glass doors and ceiling fans. However, he only partially completed it before his stroke and, as with pretty much every other space in their house, it became primarily a storage area for plants and gardening tools.

Wednesday was the day for cleaning up the patio, although disputes arose with my mother on my desire to basically put everything on the curb rather than have to pack and haul a lot of dirty stuff around to a new home. Ultimately, I was able to get most of it disposed of, although she insisted on moving a number of heavy, dirty and fragile clay pots.

Wednesday was also the day for a visit from a Realtor regarding sale of the house. Joan Johnson was an agent from Flavin Realty recommended by a neighbor. She looked over the house and made numerous observations and positive recommendations for the reconstruction:

Interestingly, she pointed out that the biggest drawback to the area was the quality of the schools (Fairview / F.K. White / Lagrange), since the more attractive growth areas are on the Southwest side of town. In the polarized climate of suburbia, this may also have been code for race as our side of town was and is much more integrated than the more affluent areas.

Ms. Johnson later passed on to me the name of an Environmental Inspector (who is a member of Industrial Hygiene Association and has a CRMI Certification) who could come into our house during renovation and give us some indication of the level of remaining mold in the house. He would come in after the demolition and chlorine treatment but before reconstruction to take two indoor samples, one outdoor sample, maybe one surface sample. After the results were processed in a lab, the resulting 30-page report would, basically, indicate whether mold was in one of three level categories: background, above background, or way above background. While he could not guarantee the absence of mold (which is impossible since there is mold everywhere), his job was to provide quality assurance...and give the new buyer some indication that the cleanup was done right.

Right around the time the Realtor arrived, I got a call from the Allstate adjuster. The initial assessment of our damage was quite generous and above the initial estimated cost of the repairs. Financially, at least, the folks might actually end up a bit ahead of where they were before the storm.

For a number of years, my mother had mentioned Ruston as a place she might like to relocate. Although I had always hoped she would move back to Missouri to be closer to her remaining family, she insisted that the limitations of my father's state health plan necessitated staying in Louisiana. On their frequent trips to Missouri, they always passed trough Ruston and she always though it looked like a nice place to live. Now was the chance to explore that possibility.

Supposedly, FEMA would be hauling away damaged materials if placed on the curb. The stuff was starting to create a truly fearsome pile and I was growing concerned about what would happen if FEMA never showed up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Patio
11/02/2005 17:29:07
Patio
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Patio
11/02/2005 17:29:27
Patio
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Patio
11/02/2005 17:28:48
Patio
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:41:52
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:41:56
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:42:14
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:42:23
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:42:31
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:42:41
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:43:11
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:43:26
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:43:41
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:43:58
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:44:04
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:44:14
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 11:44:29
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - The pile
11/02/2005 17:27:10
The pile
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Where the train obsession started
11/02/2005 17:28:07
Where the train obsession started
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Where the train obsession started
11/02/2005 17:28:22
Where the train obsession started

Next: Thursday, November 3, 2005

A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students. (John Ciardi)